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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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 20, 2010 @5:36 pm

    My take on the above, and the yacht regatta that the head of BP decided to participate in:
    After his trial, and on his way to be beheaded, the Count De Monet (pronounced, ‘Count Da Money”*) was heard to exclaim, “It is NOT the fault or we, the rich Aristocrat’s, for the hunger in France. It is the fault of the ‘small people’ that they didn’t die fast enough, or in great enough numbers, to fertilize the fields of France. Had they done so, we might all have been able to, so to speak, ‘keep out heads about us.'”
    “Oh, Boy,” asked the Count, “The Guillotine that will cut off my beautiful head, and the pike upon which my head will rest, they are both sharp, OUI?”
    “Never let dullards get control, lest you have a guillotine that hacks slowly at your neck, and a pike upon which your head will be displayed that is less sharp than the Village Idiot,” was the last thought he had, before the executioner cried, “Drop the blade once more – he ain’t done yet. This time, do it with feeling!!!”

    *h/t to the immortal Mel Brooks!

  2. erinyes  •  Jun 20, 2010 @6:28 pm

    I actually own a pike, and use it regularly.

  3. erinyes  •  Jun 20, 2010 @7:18 pm

    I can’t afford golf or stiff drinks………..

  4. Chief  •  Jun 20, 2010 @8:27 pm

    Glad to see ya back, Maha. Hope you are feeling well.

    Hildy and Tony and all these folks in the top one percent, kind of remind me of the folks F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about. The hell with class warfare or the worry about it, if you make over $200,000 a year you need a tax rate that is at least double what you are paying now. And folks over 2 mil, like those Wall Street guys with their multi-million dollar bonus’ ? Tax ’em at the 90% rate.

  5. muldoon  •  Jun 21, 2010 @12:54 am

    Glad you’re back Maha. Hope you’re rested and well.

    Wingnuttia is a fascinating place to visit. The inhabitants speak English; however, none but the natives themselves can understand what they’re saying. It is a place where Palin’s word salad and Beck’s fantasies make perfect sense; where multi-millionaire Limbaugh is revered as their Oracle of Delphi; where corporate-owned media has a liberal bias; where Bachman is a wise, eminently sane person who bravely speaks truth to power, and President Obama is a stupid, bumbling, incompetent, socialist Nazi. Wingnuttia is a place where the inhabitants believe everything will be just peachy, soon as they return to power the same people who caused the problems they’re complaining about.

    I suppose we could take a page from religion and establish a foundation to send missionaries to Wingnuttia, but I don’t hold out much hope for success. The witch doctors hold too much sway there.

  6. Jonathan Versen  •  Jun 21, 2010 @12:56 am

    the AP article made it to the WaPo, here. Like Chief I hope you are doing well.

  7. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 21, 2010 @7:39 am

    Glad to have you back, maha. I hope all is well! 🙂

  8. jugheadjack  •  Jun 21, 2010 @10:50 am

    Reach across the aisle? George Bush did more to divide this country than any other president we ve had in history. President Obama has tried mightily to reach across the aisle and end this division to no avail. He needs to give up that agenda. Its just not gonna happen. Sometimes I think we are considered the black plauge. I guess its the power they seek, because they really dont care about their constiuents, or America.

  9. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 21, 2010 @12:28 pm

    Republicans don’t care if there’s only a smoking ruin where there was once a great country. As long as they’re on “top” when it happens.
    They don’t act like the Christ they say they worship, they instead act like Satan. It was Dante, I believe who wrote these words for Satan, “I’d rather rule in Hell, than serve in Heaven!”

  10. GeorgeSalt  •  Jun 26, 2010 @9:20 am

    The statement about Bush (“Because he was not conservative”) makes sense when you realise that it is coming from the old hard right of Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell. To those folks, anyone to the left of Genghis Khan is a flaming lib.

  11. ExpatZ  •  Jun 26, 2010 @11:28 am

    Perhaps it is time to pull out that old tome of wisdom “It can’t happen here!” and give it another going over.
    While you read reflect on how accurately it applies to your situation in the US and lament that it in fact already has happened there.

  12. David M. Nieporent  •  Jun 30, 2010 @1:39 pm

    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?

    Republicans did not control Congress for most of the past two decades. Republicans held a majority in Congress from 1995-2001, and then 2003-2007. (The Jeffords switch cost Republicans the Senate from 2001-2003.) That’s half of the last two decades.

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