Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Sunday, June 20th, 2010.


Obama Administration

I understand the White House is working overtime to hang Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP around the necks of the entire Republican Party. I hope this is noticed by independent voters, because of course it won’t make a dent in the opinions of wingnuts.

Barton’s “shakedown” and “slush fund” lines are, in fact, popular in the wingnut echo chamber. Via Digby, we find the increasingly irrational Rush Limbaugh saying

Now, here are my questions. You know, it’s funny, was just last week congressional Democrats said they wanted BP to set aside $20 billion. Where did this figure come from? And will the same people be administering this as who administered TARP money? Look, the government is in charge of this. I want to know who’s gonna get it. Who’s gonna get this money? Union activists? ACORN people? Who’s going to get this money? Let’s keep a sharp eye on who Feinberg gives this money to because I’m telling you this is just another bailout fund called something else and we’ll see who gets it. If Obama’s past is prologue — and it is — then this is going to be used as a little miniature slush fund and that’s why he’s bragging about it being third party, independent, so forth and so on.

Of course, an escrow account is not a “slush fund,” but you know that, so let’s go on … In wingnutland, see, the money set aside to play for the economic damages done to small business and honest, hard-working wage earners along the Gulf Coast is a “bailout.”

And somehow, ACORN is going to get its hands on the money, even though ACORN had dismantled itself and is no longer operational. I have no doubt that the name George Soros will get hauled into the Right’s hallucinations about the escrow account eventually. ACORN, George Soros, union activists (i.e., “thugs”) — all bogymen.

The basic irrationality that is wingnuttia is exposed pretty well in this Associated Press article, which I think is meant to be a fluff piece extolling the virtues of conservative citizen activists. But if you actually read it, you see that the wingnuts seem not to be living in the same time-space continuum as the rest of us. Even when they get something right, they get it wrong. Here, for example, we see an exchange that includes Hildy Angius, head of an organization called Colorado River Republican Women —

One of the golfers, between sips of a stiff drink, asks about the country he loves: “Why are we in such dire straits?”

“Years of neglect,” says Angius.

“Democrats!” another golfer exclaims.

See, in their world, Republicans did not control Congress for most of the past two decades, and the George W. Bush administration didn’t count as “not-Democrat” because Bush was not a conservative. And why not?

For her, it comes down to the competing and vastly divergent ideologies of the left vs. the right, and a feeling that American conservatives have been marginalized for years – throughout even the presidency of George W. Bush.

Bush, she says, “spent like a drunken sailor. He reached across the aisle. We weren’t happy with the taxes. We weren’t happy with his policy on illegal immigration. So, by the time he left, he was not very popular among conservatives. Because he was not conservative.”

We weren’t happy with the taxes — what taxes is she talking about? Does she think Bush raised taxes? And when did Dubya ever reach across the aisle? And the idea that the Right has been “marginalized” these past few years, when in fact until very recently the Right pretty much controlled the whole show in Washington, and still does control a whole lot state governments, tells me that Angius and her ilk are not responding rationally to current events. Instead, they’re responding to dog whistles.

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