We all work for Fox

There’s been quite a bit of good analysis in the wake of the Republican implosion on health care, and the pant-shittingly hysterical psychotic meltdown that accompanied it. I particularly liked what Bob Herbert had to say in his New York TImes op-ed today. Here, for those of you who didn’t see it, is a clip:

…At some point, we have to decide as a country that we just can’t have this: We can’t allow ourselves to remain silent as foaming-at-the-mouth protesters scream the vilest of epithets at members of Congress — epithets that The Times will not allow me to repeat here.

It is 2010, which means it is way past time for decent Americans to rise up against this kind of garbage, to fight it aggressively wherever it appears. And it is time for every American of good will to hold the Republican Party accountable for its role in tolerating, shielding and encouraging foul, mean-spirited and bigoted behavior in its ranks and among its strongest supporters.

For decades the G.O.P. has been the party of fear, ignorance and divisiveness. All you have to do is look around to see what it has done to the country. The greatest economic inequality since the Gilded Age was followed by a near-total collapse of the overall economy. As a country, we have a monumental mess on our hands and still the Republicans have nothing to offer in the way of a remedy except more tax cuts for the rich.

This is the party of trickle down and weapons of mass destruction, the party of birthers and death-panel lunatics. This is the party that genuflects at the altar of right-wing talk radio, with its insane, nauseating, nonstop commitment to hatred and bigotry.

Glenn Beck of Fox News has called President Obama a “racist” and asserted that he “has exposed himself as a guy, over and over and over again, who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture.”

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican presidential candidate, has said of Mr. Obama’s economic policies: “Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff.”

The G.O.P. poisons the political atmosphere and then has the gall to complain about an absence of bipartisanship.

The toxic clouds that are the inevitable result of the fear and the bitter conflicts so relentlessly stoked by the Republican Party — think blacks against whites, gays versus straights, and a whole range of folks against immigrants — tend to obscure the tremendous damage that the party’s policies have inflicted on the country. If people are arguing over immigrants or abortion or whether gays should be allowed to marry, they’re not calling the G.O.P. to account for (to take just one example) the horribly destructive policy of cutting taxes while the nation was fighting two wars.

If you’re all fired up about Republican-inspired tales of Democrats planning to send grandma to some death chamber, you’ll never get to the G.O.P.’s war against the right of ordinary workers to organize and negotiate in their own best interests — a war that has diminished living standards for working people for decades.

With a freer hand, the Republicans would have done more damage. George W. Bush tried to undermine Social Security. John McCain was willing to put Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Oval Office and thought Phil Gramm would have made a crackerjack Treasury secretary. (For those who may not remember, Mr. Gramm was a deregulation zealot who told us during the presidential campaign that we were suffering from a “mental recession.”)

A party that promotes ignorance (“Just say no to global warming”) and provides a safe house for bigotry cannot serve the best interests of our country…

Fear is the key to understanding the whole thing. On the subject of fear, and how it’s wielded by the Republicans, I also liked this piece by Allison Kilkenny. Here’s a clip:

…Here is Nixon’s political strategist, Kevin Phillips, explaining the strategy to the New York Times in 1970. But really, with the antiquated term “Negro” swapped out for something less glaringly racist, this is almost identical to the Republican strategy today.

“From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that… but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.”

…Less savvy Republicans, say Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck aren’t politicians and so they don’t have to behave as centrists. As a result, they let their true ignorant, bigot colors show on a daily basis. Their niche is the White Disenfranchised Male, and their product is fear. The problem is, their audience develops a resistance to the same hysterical accusations week after week after week…and so the Fear Peddlers, Limbaugh and Beck, have to constantly increase the dosage of hysteria.

And when something bad happens, ranging from someone shouting “nigger” at John Lewis to shooting some of their fellow citizens, the right-wingers claim they have no idea where this hate and paranoia came from…

Which brings me to this brilliant, insightful little quote from Republican strategist David Frum:

“Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us, and now we are discovering we work for Fox.”

Think about it.

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  1. Stanley Jackson
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    see also

  2. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Where’s the video of people shouting these epithets?

  3. Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    And, if there were video, I bet you’d be suggesting that the audio had been over-dubbed.

  4. notoneofthecoolkids
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting this op-ed. He gracefully puts into words what my friends and I have been cussing about for weeks.

  5. Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Actually, a few days ago, when I posted video of teabaggers mocking a man with Parkinson’s, you excused it by saying something like, “well, that video only shows two men shouting hateful things.” So, if there were footage of people yelling these epithets, my guess is that you’d say, “Just look at all those thousands not yelling faggot and the n-word.”

  6. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Well, the only thing I have proof of is that you keep trying to demonize tea-partiers whether they had done something bad or not, and being corrected by the facts is no detriment to your efforts. I find that pretty scary.

  7. Oliva
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I also love that Bob Herbert op-ed. So righteously outraged and angry, the power of a mighty heart-mind when stirred.

    Am so happy we got past this thing with a good outcome, health care reform. Was a messy, rocky first year or so, but maybe now we can start joining and cooperating more lovingly and get on with important other changes and more of us be happy and good. And those mean-spirited ones slink back and rethink things and come around to kindness and a respect and love for the public good.

  8. dragon
    Posted March 23, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Dickhead Armey, leader of the tea-tards and chairman of the conservative group FreedomWorks, which has provided advice and organizational support and money to bus these idiots all over the country.

    Armey, who praised Republicans for unanimously opposing the bill, did note that his group couldn’t verify the racial slur because there did not appear to be video of the incident.

    Brackinald, brave crusader and defender of the slow witted-drooling costume wearing patriots.

    Where’s the video of people shouting these epithets?

    Only Brackinald didn’t include the entire quote of his hero. So I will.

    Influential tea party figure Dick Armey, in Palm Beach County for a political fund-raiser, said “deplorable” racial and anti-gay slurs at a protest in Washington Saturday were not representative of the conservative movement.

    “Obviously such behavior is deplorable. We don’t tolerate it…It’s not the character of our folks, not the character of the tea party movement,” said Armey

  9. Ted Sarah
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    No offense, BA, but if you don’t see that the rhetoric is escalating, and that the situation is becoming more volatile, you’re not very observant. And, FWIW, it comes across as disingenuous when you ask for audio of people yelling epithets, knowing full well that, if such tape exists, you would make the case that it didn’t matter. That demonstrates to me that you aren’t serious about this. You’re just here trying your hardest to justify the heaping mass of shit that the Libertarian movement has become in America. My advice to you would be to take a deep breath, step back and take a good look at these people. What you and Ron Paul started has become a sick, incestuous breeding ground for the most unstable in our society. Stop trying to make excuses for them, and cut the cord.

  10. Edward
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Were Lewis, Frank and Cleaver all in on it? They all walked the Tea Party gauntlet and reported having heard the epithets. According to Cleaver, he was even spit at. Did they conspire beforehand to make this up? Is it only worth considering if there’s video documentation?

  11. Dirtgrain
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Why does there have to be video?

  12. Larry Seven Larry
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    If there’s not video, I guess it didn’t happen, but I thought that I should mention 5 Democratic offices have had their windows smashed this week. It’s probably just a coincidence though.

    Here’s the story:

    Vandals smashed doors and windows at five Democratic offices around the country in the days surrounding the landmark House health care vote Sunday night, and a right-wing blogger in Alabama is taking credit for starting a so-called “window war.”

    Here are the reports we’ve seen from around the country on the mini-epidemic of brick-throwing:

    * Early on the morning of March 19, someone threw a brick through the window of Rep. Louise Slaughter’s office in Niagara Falls, New York, doing $350 of damage, the Buffalo News reported. Slaughter (D-NY) briefly attracted the ire of conservatives over the “Slaughter Solution,” a procedural maneuver that was considered (but, ultimately, not used) to pass health reform.

    * Also in Slaughter’s district, a brick was thrown through the glass doors of the Monroe County Democratic Committee office in Rochester, NY, over the weekend, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. A note attached to the brick bore the Barry Goldwater quote, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice,” a spokesman for the committee told the newspaper.

    * In the early hours of the morning on Monday just after the House health care vote, someone smashed the glass front door of the Tucson office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the Arizona Daily Star reported. “The perpetrator likely had to hop the gated fence to get access to the door, since it’s not viewable from the parking lot,” the paper reported.

    *On Friday night or Saturday morning, a brick bearing unspecified “anti-Obama and anti-health care messages” was thrown through a floor-to-ceiling window at the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, Kansas, CNN and the Kansas City Start reported.

    *After the passage of the bill Sunday night, a “fist-sized” rock was thrown at a window at the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Cincinnati, in the district of Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-OH), the Enquirer reports.

    Pinson, Alabama-based blogger Mike Vanderboegh has been tracking the breaking of windows at Dem offices after issuing a call Friday: “To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW.”

  13. Larry Seven Larry
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The rest of the article is here.


  14. Another Shoe
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm | Permalink


    Federal and local authorities are investigating a severed gas line at the home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother, discovered the day after Tea Party activists posted the address online so opponents could “drop by” and “express their thanks” for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform…

  15. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    There doesn’t have to be video, just evidence. Evidence matters to me. I won’t make excuses for people who the evidence shows are guilty. If you’re more concerned with demonizing huge swaths of people than in justice (that thing you get when you have evidence), then you suck.

    Why are some of you still acting so mind-numbingly threatened by tea-partiers now that you’ve got your stick-it-to-the-insurance-companies-by-making-everyone-buy-their-product health care bill passed?

  16. kjc
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I guess it depends on what you count as evidence. I hold John Lewis in high regard. I don’t think he would lie about his experience.

  17. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Now, accusing Mike Vanderboegh of inciting window-breaking because of the health care bill, however, is a pretty airtight case.

  18. Peter Larson
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink


    This is not the case. You merely have to have some type of health insurance or you will be fined. This excludes people who make under a certain amount of money, and, truthfully, will exclude most people whose employer provies them with insurance. I am not sure how medical savings plans or private coops fit in to this, but certainly those on Medicaid and those who are covered under state programs will be exempt. So you statement, as is being touted by others as well, is only partially true.

    Besides, unless you are ridiculously wealthy and can pay your own way, you should have health insurance from birth to death. Using the argument that you have no health needs while you are young is fallacious and at least part of the reason health insurance is so expensive and covers so little in this country. People only feel the need to get it when they are aging or sick, and haven’t paid into some type of pot that will be able to cover them sufficiently when they actually do get sick.

    Basically, people who do not carry insurance or the means to pay their lifetime medical expenses are in essence, living on the good graces of everyone else. I don’t know of anyone, Libertarian or not, who is going to say, “I don’t have enough money, I’m not going to go to the hospital. Guess I’ll just die.” When you can say that, I’ll buy your likely argument but given the fierce opposition to the bill by the insurance companies and Mr. Boehner who holds deep insurance industry ties, I do not think that the requirement to have insurance is a conspiracy, despite how one may construe it.

    Everyone has to have the means to pay for health care. If they do not, don’t go to the doctor. Obviously, that option is not realistic.

  19. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink



    What am I missing?

  20. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


  21. Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I see your point. Changing your mind about mandates is a lot like spitting at a man, and calling him a ni–er.

  22. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    The fuck?

  23. Brackinald Achery
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, Peter switched gears with me, so now we’re talking about mandates. In case that wasn’t clear.

  24. Posted March 24, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    OK, that makes more sense. I hadn’t seen Pete’s comment. I thought you were showing video of Obama, equating it somehow with the video you requested of Tea Baggers yelling racial epithets.

  25. HauntedChickenCoop
    Posted March 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    The video of people mocking the alzheimer’s made me sad, too…

    Now…..Better to work for Fox or MEDC???


  26. Posted March 25, 2010 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    My favorite Dick Armey quote is that he referred to Barney Frank as “Barney Fag” and claimed it was a slip of the tongue. Barney quipped, “Funny, no one ever called my mother Else Fag”

  27. Edward
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to ruin your day, B, but here’s that video you requested.


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