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Do They Listen To Themselves

Susie Madrak has a post about the rightwing attacks on Sheriff Dupnik that contains this marvelous illustration of the “conservatives” in the US:

…Arizona conservative activist Pamela Gorman, who won national attention over her campaign ad featuring her shooting four different fire arms to “drive the left nuts,” said that Dupnik was only elected to his position because of the county’s Democratic leanings…

In other words, the Sheriff was elected because the majority of the voters in Pima County are Democrats and voted for him, but this is wrong because? Isn’t that the way things are supposed to be, that the majority of voters elect people to office?

By now it should be obvious that “conservatives” in the US believe: “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” I doubt they know or care that their view comes from Chapter 2 of The Little Red Book of Mao Zedong.


1 Badtux { 01.11.11 at 10:14 am }

The subtext is “Democrats are not real Americans and their votes should not count.” With just a whiff of, “They should be exterminated like vermin.” Thereby proving Sheriff Dupnik’s point.

Today’s Republican Party would have fit just fine into the Old Confederacy during the KKK years (1875-1965), just substitute the N-word for “Democrat” in the above…

– Badtux the Eliminationist-spyin’ Penguin

2 Steve Bates { 01.11.11 at 6:06 pm }

Oh, what garbage. Excuse me a moment while I spray air freshener.

Power also grows from the mobility provided by an automobile, and no one in Texas (at least) wants the government to take away our cars. That doesn’t mean that cars are not inspected and licensed by the government, and drivers tested and licensed by the government. Nor does it mean that Indy cars may legally be taken out on the city streets and driven 220 mph. Nor may you legally use your ordinary city car without a muffler and suitable pollution control device. There are laws about all those things, for good and sufficient reasons.

If you think your “well-regulated militia” can get by in the 21st century without motor vehicles any more than it can do without guns, you need to have your head examined. (The DPS in your state will start that process by examining your eyesight for you.) But somehow the AAA never lobbies to remove license restrictions on drivers or on cars. If the National Piffle Association really believed what it says about gun safety, it should have no problem with similar regulations on guns: required periodic safety inspections of the guns themselves, required training and licensing of gun owners, and limits on the kinds of guns and ammunition sold for personal use (yes, recognizing that life in the country is different from life in the city). But the National Piffle Association forces its all-or-nothing attitude on the citizenry, and we see the result.

We can either have government by rule of law or government by brute force. You may be sure that whatever weapons you manage to acquire, the duly constituted armed forces have something bigger and more powerful. Any imagined story of a citizen army successfully fending off a modern well-equipped infantry with air support, or even a city police department equipped for crowd control, is nothing but a fatuous longing for a bygone era. And if your government is overthrown by a dictator, that’s the army you will face. There are reasons in the 21st century to own guns, but saving oneself from the government is realistically not one of them.

3 Badtux { 01.11.11 at 7:30 pm }

In around 1958 or so, the Louisiana State Legislature’s legislative leaders urged the then-governor, Earl K. Long, to defy a federal desegregation order. Long stared at them in blank astonishment for about five seconds, then said “Are you kidding me? We’re talking about the U.S. government here. They got the *!#$@#$% ATOMIC BOMB!”

Even a state governor with thousands of armed and trained police at his beck and call is not going to defy a modern military. Some morons who can’t hit the side of a barn with a 12 gauge shotgun at 10 yards is going to go the way of the pray-and-spray morons in Iraq who tried to take on the U.S. military with AK-47’s… i.e., *DEAD*.

I blame most of this nonsense about the military viability of a “citizen militia” on widespread delusions about the American War of Secession (1775-1786). There has grown a myth that the American War of Secession (sometimes called a “Revolution”, but it was not, it was a war of secession by the democratically constituted governments of the American colonies against their mother country) was won by citizen militia. The reality is that the militia were militarily useless except as skirmishers and harassers of foraging parties. The war was won by the Sons of Liberty terrorist group (which had a habit of killing anybody who sold food or supplies to British soldiers, thereby cutting off local British supplies) and by the professional soldiers under the command of General George Washington and, eventually, the French, who forced the British to maintain large armies on American soil, large armies which eventually bankrupted the English Crown — Cornwallis’s forces that surrendered at the Battle of Yorktown was less than 10% of the British forces in the Americas, but they could not be replaced because the Crown was bankrupt (lacking the capability to pay even the interest on its debts), and furthermore, the Crown even lacked the money to supply the other 90%, rendering them militarily useless.

That is the reality — an organized military won the War of American Secession with the help of terrorist organizations that made it expensive for the British to conduct operations, and won by bankrupting the overseas party that had very expensive supply lines (as vs. the local supply lines of the locals). Yet the “Tea Party” morons preserve and cherish the myth that somehow citizen soldiery won the War of American Secession, a myth which is not historically accurate or factual but…. shrug. As Mr. Duff is perfect evidence, myths which are not historically accurate or factual have a facile appeal to people who are ignorant and feel powerless. So it goes.

– Badtux the History Penguin

4 Bryan { 01.11.11 at 7:41 pm }

1. If the discussion were about Albania or Iran the stated experience might aid credibility, but it is irrelevant and immaterial to the issue at hand in Arizona. As a former college associate professor and a former member of law enforcement I know that the events that occurred at the college are outside the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s Department and dealt with by the college’s police department and administration. I also know that mental health treatment, like all medical treatments not order by a court are outside the scope of public records and law enforcement has no access to them without a warrant. Further student records are outside the scope of public records and require a warrant for access.

2. If there had been extant “death threats” by the defendant, those threatened would have already been on all of the national news programs, along with all of the other people who have known the defendant for more than a week, but they haven’t appeared.

3. Commitment to a mental health facility requires a trial that can only be initiated, generally, by family members, or the police following a specific incident. If there were a credible death threat that could be proven in court, action would be taken, but you can’t do anything based on the unsupported testimony of an individual. Nothing that has been said publicly about the defendant’s conduct rises to the necessary level of proof required, and no one has publicly spoken about a death threat, only about a generalized concern for their safety.

The blogger is blowing smoke rings from a general state of ignorance and should do a little research into the facts and law before making absurd claims. You can’t arrest people for being jerks or the jails would be filled with politicians.

If political power grew from the barrel of a gun, the countries of the world would all be ruled by military dictators. The last time I checked, that wasn’t the case. Military dictators tend to get overthrown by annoyed people.

5 Ame { 01.11.11 at 9:42 pm }

Michael Thomasky has a piece in the Guardian that highlights some fairly recent historical perspective on the politically divisive


I would like to report to you that my nation is in shock, and that we will work together to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again. Alas, neither of these things is close to true. Of course an event like this is hard to believe in the moment; but in the context of our times, it’s really not surprising at all. Last summer, a California man armed himself and set off for San Francisco with the express intent of killing liberals at a nonprofit foundation that had been pilloried by Glenn Beck and others. Only the lucky accident of his arrest en route for drunk driving prevented the mayhem then.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence has documented more than two dozen killings by or arrests of rightwing extremists who intended to do serious political violence since 2008. One Tennessee man killed two worshippers at a liberal church, regretting only that he had not been able to ice the 100 liberals named by author Bernard Goldberg as those most responsible for destroying America. Giffords herself received threats after voting for the healthcare reform bill, and shots were fired through the window of her district office. An event like this has been coming for a long time.

As to the future, some things will change, at least for a while. Sarah Palin will be deeply diminished by this. Speaking about the now well-known cross-hairs imagery over the map of Giffords’ congressional district on Palin’s website, Giffords herself last year expressed concern about “consequences”. Palin pooh-poohed this at the time. Her unctuous and hypocritical “prayer” for Giffords and the other victims will mollify only those who think she can do no wrong. But in general, this hastens that blessed day when we no longer have to pay attention to her self-serving lies and idiocies.

Republicans and even Tea Partiers will have the sense – again, for a while – to steer clear of directly gun-related rhetoric. We won’t be hearing much in the near term about “second amendment remedies” and insurrection and so forth. But this will be temporary. Guns are simply too central to the mythology of the American right, as is the idea of liberty being wrested from tyrants only at gunpoint. For the American right to stop talking about armed insurrection would be like American liberals dropping the subjects of race and gender. It’s too encoded in conservative DNA.

In addition, contemporary American conservatism has been utterly arrested by this ridiculous paranoid fantasy that our government is a tyranny. Here was Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia, speaking in Washington last April on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing: “Fellow patriots, we have a lot of domestic enemies of the constitution, and they’re right down the Mall, in the Congress of the United States – and right down Independence Avenue in the White House that belongs to us. It’s not about my ability to hunt, which I love to do. It’s not about the ability for me to protect my family and property against criminals, which we have the right to do. But it’s all about us protecting ourselves from a tyrannical government.” The year before, this same Broun singled out then-Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as one such “domestic enemy of the constitution”. He was re-elected last November with 67% of the vote.

This kind of rhetoric will go into hibernation now, but only for a bit. Because not only is it too central to rightwing mythology; it is central to Republican electoral strategy. This is one of those things that no one says, because it can’t really and truly be proved forensically, but everyone knows. Get people to hate liberals. Get them to think not only that liberals have ideas for the country that are wrong – get them to believe that liberals despise the country and are actively attempting to hasten its demise. Say progressivism isn’t just invalid or even dangerous, but “evil” and a “cancer,” as Glenn Beck says. Fear gets people to the ballot box.

It weighs on my heart that there has been no public moment of pause or reverence, and acknowledgment of the fact that there has been a politically motivated crime committed in America in which 20 people were shot, and six died, but comes the tea party strolling out on the still bloody stage with a blanket of lies draped across their backsides.

6 Badtux { 01.11.11 at 11:46 pm }

Ame, it’s not political divisiveness that is the problem. There has always been political divisiveness all the way back to the founding of our nation, when the Federalists vs. the Democratic-Republicans was such a squabble that President John Adams tried to have his Democratic opposition thrown into jail for sedition. The problem is the explicit violent rhetoric that the right wing is now using, which brings the crazies out of their basement to commit acts of violence.

As for the right wing notion that democracy is tyranny, what, they study Orwell’s 1984 as their Bible?! Sheesh!

– Badtux the Non-violent Penguin

7 Steve Bates { 01.12.11 at 10:45 am }

Duffy, Joe Manchin repeatedly appears on right-wing web sites because he’s about the only Democrat who poses with a gun; is that why you ignored the dozen or so Republicans who repeatedly use violent rhetoric to rouse their rabble?

Thank you for making my point for me: in America, to view the Left as engaging in violent rhetoric, you have to cherry-pick people and incidents (as you did here); to view the Right as purveyors of crazed lunatic violence, all you have to do is turn on your TV. Good job, Duffy.

8 Badtux { 01.12.11 at 11:30 am }

Duffy, dear duffer, learn how to read. Neither of your so-called “examples” advocate exterminating conservatives. They do advocate SELF DEFENSE, which I understand confuses you conservatives — how DARE your victims attempt to defend themselves! — but the fact that you cannot tell the difference between that and “KILL THE LIBERALS! WATER THE TREE OF LIBERTY!” is telling of just how wide your ideological blind spots are — as in, about as wide as a 700 pound lady at an all-you-can-eat buffet table, yo.

– Badtux the “Are all conservatives morons?” Penguin

9 Bryan { 01.12.11 at 10:16 pm }

Tonight, according to my Mother, who watches television, Ed Schultz and Chris Matthews addressed over-heated rhetoric and said they, personally, needed to back off from it. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone ran a piece, Is the Media Partly at Fault?, in which he decided they were and said he needed to back off.

That is how the “liberal media” reacted, but that is most definitely not the way the wingers reacted. You need a moral code and conscience to be introspective. and those are not features of the Right.

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.

– John Stuart Mill in a letter to the Conservative MP, John Pakington

10 Kryten42 { 01.13.11 at 1:42 am }

Hey! I posted that quote from Mill a couple months ago! Hmmph! 😉 😆 But it is definitely worth repeating at this time!

Now we have Palin blaming the (liberal) media for the shooting. What she should have said is that the (neo-con) media are at fault for reporting the insane garbage she spouts (and I am with you on this Bryan).

Palin Borrows ‘Blood Libel’ from Israeli Far Right

What a moron.

And now I see these neo-con pundits are outraged at Obama and others for scoring *Political points* for attending, and even holding, a service for those slain! Seriously… words do fail.

And then, there are these as further proof that the right are at best amoral, and more than likely immoral!

Tucson Tea Party Founder Blames Giffords For Getting Shot: ‘The Real Case Is That She Had No Security’

Joe Wilson’s ‘You Lie’ Slogan Offered On Commemorative Assault Rifles

11 Badtux { 01.13.11 at 9:49 am }

Kryten, I think the right wing believes the appropriate response to disaster is to fly Air Force One over it at 20,000 feet, have the President look out the window, and say “yup, that’s a disaster!” At least, that was the Chimperor’s approach :twisted:.

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

12 Bryan { 01.13.11 at 4:10 pm }

The media keep skipping over the point that a Federal District court judge, the chief judge for the state of Arizona was killed. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see the Chief Justice attend, although he may attend Judge Roll’s funeral. It really was an obligation to attend, even if Republican office holders ignore these niceties.

13 Kryten42 { 01.13.11 at 6:23 pm }

You are *right*, there Badtux! 😈

Sadly, yes. Bryan.

BTW, I meant to comment on the title of this thread…

Yes, yes they DO indeed listen to themselves! They looooove the sound of their own voices! The love to speak what the tiny voices in their tiny brains whisper to them. It’s why they want to degrade education as far as possible. Education stops people from understanding their glorious wisdom, doncha know? 😈

So yes, they listen to themselves… but you have to be *one of them* to understand them! A sane brain simply recoils in horror and then starts running around gibbering things like “but that’s insane!” or “Gahhhhh… the pain, the pain!” etc. 😉 😆

14 Bryan { 01.13.11 at 7:42 pm }

They speak in coded phrases and you have to be a member of their “cult” to understand what is going on and what they mean. It isn’t all gibberish; there is content hidden behind the use of certain words.

The fundies use loaded words and phrases from the Bible, and the sovereignty movement has their code words. It’s another form of jargon that makes little sense if you don’t take the time to decode it.

15 Kryten42 { 01.13.11 at 10:19 pm }

Ahhh, yes! But some of them are too stupid to understand or remember the codes, and even the masters get annoyed with them! Like McCain, Palin, Bushmoron… to name but a few! 😈

16 Bryan { 01.13.11 at 11:15 pm }

Actually, this is covered by that quote in Cyrillic on the sidebar. It is the final sentence from Gogol’s story, The Nose, an absurd piece of fantasy that he used to highlight the gullibility of Russians, especially the upper classes. Rasputin wasn’t an exceptional case, the aristocracy believed the most off-the-wall theories and people in existence, and they ran the Empire. Their faith in the most ludicrous fabrications imaginable was unshakable.

This is why the Soviets studied UFOs and parapsychology – they believed in it.